Opiate addiction feeds off a variety of factors in a person’s life, including physical controls. While the physical controls of drug addiction, alcoholism, or substance abuse can be powerful, they are not the only factor that keeps addiction active. Many people struggling with opioid addiction face challenging emotions as well, such as shame and guilt. They want to stop using, they know the reasons they should shop using, but they just can’t seem to stop. This failure to stop using, the failure to produce agency to stop using, creates shame that traps an addict in a cycle of shame and substance abuse [1].

This is one cycle of substance abuse and addiction that can be debilitating for many people. The feelings of guilt often cause continued use of the harmful substances, whether it be alcohol, heroin, painkillers, meth, cocaine, marijuana, or other drugs. At Treatment Alternatives, we know that successful addiction treatment in Boca needs to address these factors of addiction in addition to the physical components.

Substance Abuse to Numb Shame

For some patients, shame came before opiate abuse. Past trauma, for example, can create considerable shame or shame-prone personality traits. When these factors aren’t addressed, many people turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with their negative feelings [2]. In young adults who are dealing with alcoholism or opiate addiction, improperly treated shame or depression can often be the culprit [2].

Shame Caused by Substance Abuse

In other situations, substance abuse comes before shame. In these instances, shame soon follows as the addict recognizes their normative disorder and unsavory behavior [1]. Even if a person needs drugs and alcohol just to feel normal, using the drugs and alcohol in an addictive or abusive way typically leads to feelings of shame at not meeting norms [1]. This works in a cycle, fueling addiction by enhancing negative feelings.

A Vicious Cycle

Whether addiction or shame develops first, the two soon form a cycle that can be tough to break. Our Boca Raton drug rehab can help address addiction and its associated shames. We utilize many treatments, including natural treatments in Boca Raton, FL. Successful addiction treatment in Boca needs to address all aspects of addiction, including the same often connected with substance abuse. Contact our Boca Raton drug rehab today to learn more.


1- NCBI, The Same of Addiction

2- PeerJ, Association Between Shame and Substance Abuse


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